Every new Olympics has something special to offer. From the well-known household names like Bolt, Phelps, and Biles to the magnificent newbies like Thrasher, De Grasse. and Maroulis, there’s always something for everyone and Rio was no exception. And, although controversy and politics rear their ugly heads during every Olympic season, entire countries come together to cheer on their athletes, but none more than the U.S. You’ll hear more “U.S.A” chants during the Olympics than even the 4th of July.
Why not, right? After all, we have some of the best Olympians in the world as evidenced by the sheer number of medals we win. In fact, between 1896 and 2016, the U.S. has won the most medals of all time, namely 976 gold and 2,399 medals in total.
But, of all of those fantastic Olympic competitors, which ones could be the biggest moneymakers after the Olympics? From Bruce Jenner to Michael Phelps, over the years, advertisers have been clamoring to get their products endorsed by famous Olympians, and here are ten of the 2016 Olympics in Rio winners who stand to become some of the biggest moneymakers:
1. Simone Biles - Gymnast
This amazing athlete is now thought of by the American public as the gymnast who is most golden since she won four medals overall in Rio, three gold and one bronze, on top of being a four-time U.S. champion and a world champion three times. Because of that, her name and bank account will become golden, too. And, she is represented by Octagon, who also reps Michael Phelps, and look what they’ve gotten for him!
They are expected to be signing several four-year deals, which will extend far beyond her upcoming appearance at the Tokyo Games in 2020. In the past, many companies have been reticent to throw large sums of money at gymnastics due to the fact that there usually is someone new coming up right around the corner in four years. However Simone is the exception to that rule based upon her dominance in Rio and the fact that she has no less than 2.5 million loyal followers on Instagram.
She’s already aligned with some of the biggies like Nike, Hershey’s, and Procter & Gamble. At this point, many gymnastics legends are calling her the best gymnast that they have ever seen and a force of nature. And her performance in Rio has indeed made her the gymnast who is the most decorated on the top gymnastics team of all time. In addition, she’ll go down in history as a member of the "Final Five" along with Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas.
2. Ryan Murphy - Swimmer
OK, so the men’s swim team doesn’t have as many young up-and-coming stars as the women’s team has, but it does still have a few great "older" ones like Anthony Ervin, who is 35 and Nathan Adrian, who is 27. And then there’s Ryan Lochte, whose very strange non-robbery scandal means that he won’t be receiving any new endorsement offers anytime soon. But, we still have 21-year-old Murphy, and he annihilated the competition while taking home the gold in both the 100-meter and the 200-meter backstrokes. He seems to be a promising candidate for also taking home all of those endorsement deals that the "other Ryan" lost.
3. Aly Raisman - Gymnast
As the Captain of the women’s gold medal-winning gymnastics team that was nicknamed the "Fierce Five" back in 2012 and now Rio’s "Final Five" in 2016, she’ll be sure to receive numerous excellent endorsement deal offers both for her amazing Olympian past, which included four medals in individual events between 2012 and 2016 combined, and also for her highly promising future. Based on the fact that she’s already 22-years old, she could lose a few endorsements to teammates Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, who are younger than she is, but that shouldn’t cramp her proverbial money-making style too much.
4. Carli Lloyd - Soccer
Women haven’t quite been emerging on the Olympic scene as much as in swimming and gymnastics. Since McLaughlin is only 17 and not even out of high school yet, and Felix may be nearing the end of her career, Lloyd is a good bet for receiving multiple endorsement offers very soon. It kind of follows that old Rolling Stones theme for advertisers about not getting what you want, but getting what you need.
5. Helen Maroulis - Wrestler
As the first American woman to win a gold medal in wrestling, Maroulis is sure to be a favorite among advertisers when it comes time to make those big endorsement deals. Why is that? Well, quite simply, advertisers love firsts.
6. Ashton Eaton - Track and Field
Following his first gold medal in London for the decathlon, he has been noticeably featured in ads for both United and Nike. As the fastest man in the world in the 100-meter race, he is a sure bet for drawing some major marketing dollars now and in the future. With two gold medals under his belt, everyone is wondering if he will go for a third in 2020. Add to that his impressive persona and he’s gold in more ways than just on the track.
7. Lilly King - Swimmer
After making a major splash in Rio, she’s a shoe-in for some major endorsement deals. Not only is she a champion in the water, but she’s also one for calling out Russian competitor, Efimova, whom she not only beat in 2016, but the Russian swimmer tested positive for performance enhancing drugs back in 2013, resulting in her suspension from the sport. King has proven to be a true champion and her Twitter following has increased ten times over for it this year.
8. Katie Ledecky - Swimmer
Stanford student, Ledecky, is actually the world’s most dominant swimmer right now, male or female, in spite of what Phelps fans may say. And, in addition, although she is not in a position to accept an endorsement deal right now since she's still in college, she’s sure to receive many of them in the near future. In fact, in a year or so, it is anticipated that the battle for this Olympian could very well mark the beginning of the biggest advertiser war over a woman that has ever been seen in the marketing world.
9. Simone Manuel - Swimmer
She may sometimes be called the other "Simone", but she’s by no means any less of a winner than Biles. She has another “first” to offer marketers since she’s the first U.S. swimmer who is not only a multiple gold medal winner, but also African-American. She prefers to be known only as an Olympian swimmer rather than accepting the label of “African-American swimmer”. She did, in fact, win a total of four medals in Rio, two silver and two gold, and her wins mark a distinct turning point for the sport of Olympic swimming.
10. Gabby Douglas - Gymnast
Even though Gabby missed the big appearance by the rest of the gymnastics team on the MTV Video Music Awards due to a recent hospitalization, she’s still America’s sweetheart. She and the other “Final Five” members won a total of nine medals combined in Rio. And, although the 20-year old already has a net worth that’s estimated at three million dollars, she’ll probably be entertaining a number of endorsement deal offers since this year's games.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker